Ten Ways to Win My Heart

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so it makes perfect sense that I'd love this feature!

Top Ten Things I LOVE in Love Stories

1. Friendship Grows to Love 
I cannot get enough of stories where the couple starts off as friends and it grows into love. 
And if one person is aware of those feelings way earlier than the other person? So much the better! 
I love relationships that have friendship as the foundation because everything feels like it's been earned. 
There's something about watching those feelings evolve that just makes my heart flutter every time!

2. Second Chance at Love 
I adore love stories where the couple was together, separated... and meet again.
Depending on the reasons for break up, it just works. Yay for another chance at love!
The couple's shared history often just adds to the tension in the story in the best way.
And I love seeing people get the opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation.

3. From Hate to Love 
If I had to narrow this list down to only one item, it would be this one.
I absolutely love romances where the characters just can't stand each other at first.
The bickering and butting head is the spark the makes me automatically ship a couple.
I'm clearly a fan at seeing feelings evolve from one emotion into something even more complex!

4. From Different Worlds
This can be handled awkwardly, but I love a good "we're from different worlds" romance.
It's typically a financial or cultural divide, and I like seeing the two worlds juxtaposed.
It can provide an interesting dynamic, especially if the differences lead to conflict.
But I love rooting for people to defy convention/family/society, and choose to be together!

5. Bantering and Bickering 
This is probably a given, but I absolutely love banter. And when the couple bickers, too? 
SIGN ME UP.  I think it's because I love individuals with backbone - who know their own minds.
I enjoy seeing them stand their ground and not just be/do/say what the other person wants to hear.
And it takes a certain level of intelligence to banter, so bonus points for smart characters.

6. Longing Glances 
I love romances with a moment where the characters exchange longing glances.
Whether it's staring across the room or taking a second look when they first meet,
I sure do love when their eyes do the talking and you know just what they're thinking.
I don't know why, but I love when words are unnecessary. Swoon.

7. Less is More 
I know this is pretty similar to the item above, but I still wanted to include it.
I prefer to read love stories that leave certain parts of a romance to the imagination. 
I love kisses, but there's something to be said for small (but significant) physical contact.
And when it all culminates, I definitely prefer for the story to fade to black...

8. No More Obstacles 
If there are obstacles keeping the couple apart, I love the moment they no longer exist.
When a relationship has been in question, I love when the couple finally gets an answer!
I rejoice when a couple can finally be together with nothing standing in their way.
If there's been a lot of build up to that moment, it can be such an emotional scene.

9. Rejected Proposal / Painful Separation
I think I'm a sucker for couples separated under painful circumstances.
Rejected proposals, family disapproval, wives in attics... you name it!
I'm heartbroken when they split, but I love anticipating their reunion.
Hurt feelings, grieving hearts and utter longing is my kind of romance.

10. Dancing Leads to Love
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love...” 
There's Jane Austen delivering another universally acknowledged truth.
Personally, I can't dance to save my life. But I'm all about READING about dancing.
The ball, the gowns, the crowd, the music, the flirting, the gossip... Yes, please.

My biggest dislike? When a couple who is MEANT TO BE doesn't end up together.
That dislike just grows if they end up with people WHO ARE CLEARLY WRONG FOR THEM.
Yes, I'm still a little bitter about this one. And that's all I will say about that... 


  1. Scrolling along, agreeing with everything you said, then BAM JO AND LAURIE. ARGGGGG.

    I reread Little Women over Christmas and all of that lost potential just struck me all over again and I've gone all wavy-angry arms about it probably a dozen times in the last two months. UNJUST LOUISA MAY ALCOTT UNJUST.

    *deep breaths*

    But a resounding yes to the rest! I love Anne and Gilbert the most but that Lizzie Bennet Diaries gif kills me every. time.

  2. YES, YES,YES, YES, YES, YES to all of this! I totally and completely agree, and you just made my day with this list, and the gifs were perfect! And that's all I'm going to say!

  3. A huge yes to everything on this list! I love banter between characters, it's one of my absolute FAVOURITE things to read about :D And less is more... oh gosh, I couldn't agree more!! I love those subtle little moments, and the build up in the relationship. It makes everything seem more real, in a way :) Great list!

  4. So, uh, I basically love your whole list!! But my top: HATE TO LOVE. They are one of my book weaknesses, and I probably ship those couples the hardest. Banter and bicker is also a must. It's fun and it's passionate at the same time. The dancing one I never thought of, but yes yes yes! I especially love dancing scenes in movies. And sometimes, less words is MORE. <3

  5. Yes to all of this! Bickering, hate to love, friends to more. All so amazing! Also you put a Mr. Darcy gif in here so I automatically love this post. *swoons*

  6. I can't believe I haven't thought of some of those: Bantering and Bickering is great! I also especially agree with the hate to love and painful separation. I can't help but ship a couple harder when something tragic happens to them.

  7. Ahh I still need to watch Emma Approved! And finish LBD.

    YES that is a perfect caveat for friends into love- I LOVE when one of them figures it out way before the other person! Second chance can definitely be good, like if they moved away or there was some reason that wasn't directly their fault... like Anne and Mr. Wentworth ;)

    These gifs, you're killing me Hannah <3 Darcy and Lizzie!!! Hate to love is my FAVORITE, even about friends to love. Bonus points for lots of delicious snarky, flirty banter and arguments.

    Oh god that James McAvoy gif!!!! That's very Myrcroft and Watts, yes? ;) Longing glances is a good one! I'm also partial to "he was looking at me with a strange expression on his face." THAT ALWAYS MEANS LOVE.

    Small contact rules. Accidentally brushing knees. Hands on the waist. And back to Every Breath, the moment he grabbed her ankle I almost lost it.

    OMG Thornton's face when he realizes it's Margaret's brother is the most heartwarming, adorable thing. Begone obstacles!

    JO AND LAURIEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 That gif is so cute. I love this whole post so much :)

  8. I love from Hate to Love and From Different World romances. They ROCK MY WORLD.

    Love bickering and fighting. Oh yeah....So delicious.

    Great post. LOVE IT.

  9. This is such a lovely post, Hannah! Love the gif usage (North by South, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement... my shipper heart!)
    A romance is so much better when it feels EARNED - there's so much more swoon to be had there. So I love a good friends-to-more romance as well. I also like it when the obstacle is finally out of there way, and I appreciate it even more when it doesn't happen in the last 5% of the book! I need some time with them as a couple!

  10. Hannah, why are all of your posts so freaking perfect?? Everything about this is so wonderful and eloquent and the GIFs you've used are perfection. The hate-to-love, obstacles, second chances, less is more (I actually linked to your post from my TTT for this one, because I could not agree more!!!), and oh my goodness the dancing!

    Also, on a mostly unrelated side note, I seriously think a movie night has to be in our future because just through this post (and other conversations we've had), our taste in film could not be more similar!

    On a final note? That Thornton GIF? I am dying.

    @ Bring My Books


    I recently realized that Persuasion is the reason why I love second chance romances. All those glances and the tension, YES. I NEED IT.

    BANTER IS SERIOUSLY THE BEST. When a couple just knows how to talk to each other with wit has my absolute heart! I'm a sucker for longing glances and subtle touches. It speaks so much volume.

  12. friendship growing to love, especially when the characters are introduced in the book and become friends then (not off page) its SOOO GOOD because you get to see every development! and when its done well? Its done wellllllllll. You win everything for using Captain Wentworth, he's so underrated but just the best *insert all the hearts here*. Hate to love is my FAVORITE. Just like the friendship, you get to see the couple develop and its THE BEST EVER. And since I love hate-love obviously I love the banter and bickering and the sarcasm! *swoony sigh* I'm with you with less is more. Especially when it comes to slow burn. Where even the slight touch makes you die from swoon. YES PLEASE.

  13. Um, I approve of your North & South gif. Completely. Don't worry, Mr. Thornton, I'll look back at you.

  14. Currently suffering from a bout of major smiles as I scroll up and down through this post! You've chosen the PERFECT GIFs for every item you've mentioned, so you get a bazillion gold stars for giving me happy feels. But seriously, I basically nodded my way through this entire post! Totally on board with all the stuff you've mentioned, really.


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